Free treatment assistance doubled: Minister

KASP membership card for visually challenged distributed

December 02, 2022 09:43 pm | Updated 09:43 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

The State has been able to provide free treatment assistance to twice as many people through the Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhati (KASP), the State’s health insurance scheme, Minister for Health Veena George has said.

She was speaking after distributing the disabled friendly KASP membership card, designed for the differently abled, on Friday.

The Minister said that when the State Health Agency was formed in 2020, a total of ₹700 crore was utilised annually for free medical treatment. However, ₹1,400 crore was spent through KASP last year. Of that, ₹138 crore was sanctioned by the Union government; the rest was borne by the State government. Assistance could be provided to twice as many people. This was done by empanelling more hospitals and implementing KASP in government hospitals as well, she said.

The Minister said KASP was implemented to support people who were burdened by heavy treatment expenses during illness. “More people were also flocking to government hospitals owing to good facilities there. Cath labs had been set up in 11 districts. In Kasaragod, a cath lab would be set up very soon, while it would also come up in Wayanad. Specialty and super-specialty facilities had been provided in hospitals at the grassroots, ” she said. Among States, Kerala provided maximum free treatment. Free insurance cover was ensured for government hospitals, she added.

Digital hoardings

The disabled friendly KASP membership card was the first such initiative for the visually-challenged. The card has been prepared in Braille on a pilot basis for visually-challenged KASP beneficiaries identified by the State Health Agency.

The Minister also switched on the digital hoardings set up in 32 hospitals, released the KASP card brochure prepared in Braille and a sign language video on the initiative, and distributed course certificates.

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